ASIA/PAKISTAN -Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Pakistani Christians are already persecuted and they feel very insecure and vulnerable, especially after so many false blasphemy cases registered against them. The verdict sentencing Sawan Masih, a poor Christian worker, to death is another blow for Pakistani Christians. March 27, will be remembered as yet another 'terrible day' in which injustice against Christians was committed". This is what was said by Fr. James Channan OP, Director of the "Peace Center" in Lahore, research center involved in interreligious dialogue.
The Director confirms to Fides: "the circumstances of the dispute that took place between two friends, one Muslim and the other Christian, Sawan are well known. It was a dispute over a matter concerning property. But the Muslim took advantage, finding a shortcut and accused Sawan of blasphemy. The whole world knows what happened next. Over 100 Christian homes of Joseph Colony, a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, were destroyed, 2 churches burned, Bibles desecrated and Crosses destroyed by an angry mob of more than 3,000 fanatics. The Christians of Joseph Colony still live in danger and fear that the mob might attack again at any time".
Fr. Channan concludes: "After Sawan’s death sentence, I ask myself: where is justice? Why is nothing done against these innocent Christians who have been attacked and have lost their possessions? What about the churches which were desecrated, Bibles burned and crosses destroyed? Is this not blasphemy? Why was no culprit punished after the horrendous attacks against Christian villages and neighborhoods such as in Shanti Nagar, Sangla Hill, Gojra (where seven Christians were burned alive)? Where is justice and where is the rule of law? I hope the government takes measures to ensure justice to all citizens, and takes note of the serious injustice perpetrated against Christians in their homeland". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/03/2014)